AFI’s All-Pandemic Team: Left Guard – Olaus Alinen, Wasa Royals

A unique dilemma faced the AFI All-Pandemic Team selection committee when it came to picking Olaus Alinen of Finland’s Wasa Royals as the starting right guard.

He is only 16.

And yet he was getting high praise for his play from the  European football community. Still, despite the accolades, the six-member panel had questions. How can he be only 16 and be that good? Or how can he be that good and be only 16?

In the end, the game film told the story. He is that good. Regardless of his age.

He helped the Royals reach the Maple League semifinals this year, his first in Finland’s top league.

According to Wasa Royals head coach John Booker, the most common question from opposing players after games this season was “Is he really only 16?”

“Olaus already has elite power and can displace people fairly easily. He has great natural ‘waistbend’ which means that despite his size, he can play lower then his opponents. He is also the type of person you love to coach. Along with his natural size and ability he is hungry to get better. He is only 16 but plays like a man amongst boys. He will go as far as he wishes in the sport.”

The 6’7″, 325 pound Alinen, who calls Pori, Finland his hometown, was a rookie this year but played like a 10 year veteran. He has the size and skills to carry him to a career at a major university and in fact the offers from powerhouse Div. I schools have been pouring in with Oregon, Michigan, Michigan State, Virginia, Boston College, Kentucky, Arizona State, UMASS, Georgia Tech and Nebraska now in the running.

And more are on the way.

This is all not so surprising when you know his pedigree. His father is former NFL Europe player Klaus Alinen, who played tight end for the Berlin Thunder and spent a year on the Atlanta Falcons practice squad.

Needless to say, there will be plenty more all star teams in store for Olaus Alinen.

And soon no one will be asking to see his birth certificate.





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